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A brief look at Vikings/Chiefs history

We’ve been missing these lately

NFL: OCT 18 Chiefs at Vikings Photo by Rich Gabrielson/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I realized today that, over the past few weeks, I’ve been missing with these history posts. I’m not sure how many other people noticed, but I should probably get back to doing them, starting with this Sunday’s matchup.

The Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs played the last game before the NFL/AFL merger in Super Bowl IV. Since then, they’ve met 11 times in the regular season, and the Vikings will be looking for a chance to even their regular-season mark against Kansas City in the all-time series. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers and some of the history between these two teams.

As always, these numbers are brought to you by the good folks from Pro Football Reference. And, remember, these only cover regular season action.

Total regular season games between the Vikings and Chiefs: 11

All-time series: Chiefs, 6-5

Total Vikings points scored, head-to-head: 241 (21.9 points/game)

Total Chiefs points scored, head-to-head: 186 (16.9 points/game)

Longest Vikings winning streak vs Chiefs: 2 games (20 September 1970 - 14 December 1974)

Longest Chiefs winning streak vs Vikings: 2 games, three different times (most recently from 23 September 2007 to 2 October 2011)

Most recent Vikings road win in series: 14 December 1974 (final score 35-15)

Most recent Chiefs home win in series: 2 October 2011 (final score 22-17)

Biggest Vikings road win in series: 20 points, 14 December 1974 (final score 35-15)

Biggest Chiefs home win in series: 5 points, 2 October 2011 (final score 22-17)

Current streak: Vikings, 1 win

It seems a bit strange that, given the disparity in points scored between the two teams head-to-head that the Chiefs would have the better end of the record between these two teams. That owes to the fact that when the Chiefs have won games in this series, things have been very close, while the Vikings have won in blowouts.

  • Vikings head-to-head margin of victory against Chiefs: 17, 20, 20, 25, 6 (average of 17.6 points/game)
  • Chiefs head-to-head margin of victory against Vikings: 4, 3, 15, 3, 3, 5 (average of 5.5 points/game)

Yes, it has been a very, very long time since the Minnesota Vikings last won a game in Kansas City. It happened before yours truly was born, even. The Vikings have played five games in Kansas City in team history, and they only time they emerged victorious was in December of 1974. The Chiefs actually had a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter in this one, but then the Vikings started to get things working with a pair of touchdown passes from Fran Tarkenton to Sam McCullum. Tarkenton also threw a third first-half touchdown. . .unfortunately, it was a 73-yard interception return by Emmitt Thomas to make the score 14-12 at the half. Bob Berry replaced Tarkenton at halftime, and threw a pair of touchdown passes of his own, one to Ed Marinaro and one to Oscar Reed. Brent McClanahan capped things with a 6-yard score, and the Vikings left Kansas City with a 35-15 victory.

The most recent game in Kansas City between these two teams, part of the Vikings’ disastrous 2011 season, was not pretty for Minnesota. The Vikings actually had the lead after the first quarter, thanks to a 34-yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to Devin Aromashodu to make it 7-3. After that, it became a battle of field goals between Ryan Succop and Ryan Longwell, with Succop’s fifth successful kick of the day giving the Chiefs a 15-10 lead late in the third quarter. Matt Cassel then found Dwayne Bowe for a 52-yard score to make it 22-10, and the Vikings couldn’t make up the difference as they fell 22-17.

The last time these two teams got together was in Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium in 2015. It was not a terribly exciting contest, as both defenses made a solid showing. Thanks to a touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Kyle Rudolph and a pair of Blair Walsh field goals, the Vikings took a 13-0 lead into the fourth quarter, but Alex Smith helped the Chiefs mount a comeback to close to within 13-10. Walsh then connected on a third field goal with less than five minutes to play, and that provided the final margin as the Vikings won by a final score of 16-10.

That’s a quick look back at the history between the Vikings and the Chiefs, folks. If Minnesota doesn’t win this one in Kansas City on Sunday, they won’t get another opportunity until 2027, and that would stretch that drought to 53 years. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about that.